A group calling itself the Cricket Stakeholders of Guyana (CSOG) says that the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) is peddling misinformation in its attempts to stop the passage of the Cricket Administration Bill 2012.
Last Thursday, Raphael Trotman, Speaker of the National Assembly, announced in parliament, that the GCB had moved to the High Court to prevent the House from passing the legislation which seeks to make the GCB a corporate entity among other things.
The GCB has filed a 300-page writ against Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony and the Speaker, but, according to Trotman, he is of the opinion that the High Court can’t adjudicate in this matter.
“I hold the view that the court cannot injunct the House on proceeding with the Bill,” he told the House.
The CSOG said that the GCB has been giving the impression that the government wants to control cricket in Guyana.
“The public must understand that that the government has no intention of getting involved in Guyana’s cricket,” it said.
“This line that is being peddled by the persons opposed to the Guyana Cricket Administration Bill 2012 (GCAB 2012) is misleading as government has unequivocally stated time and time again that it will not be involved in Guyana’s cricket and that its sole remit is to bring order and transparency to cricket after years of bitterness and rivalry which has brought our national game into disrepute,” the group added.
According to the CSOG, the government was approached by the major constituent members of Guyana Cricket namely the Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) the East Coast Cricket Board (ECCB) and the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) to intervene in the dispute.
“These boards and associations are the strength of Guyana’s cricket and after being totally excluded from the administrative structure and in some cases denied subventions, sought the intervention of the government which responded and sought to resolve the matter through the passage of the GCAB 2012. Note that the cricket boards of both Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados have been legislated through their respective parliaments,” the group pointed out.
The GCAB 2012 was drafted after a lengthy consultation period during which there were numerous submissions from across the length and breadth of Guyana and the process was facilitated by a Special Select Parliamentary Committee comprised of representatives from all three political parties in parliament.
“It is clearly stated in the very bill that government will have no part in the administration of cricket in Guyana. That authority, as it has always been, will be reposed in the three County Boards which will in turn elect a Guyana Cricket Board (GCB).
“The persons who have submitted the writ, seek to block the passage of the bill in yet another attempt to derail a process by which there will be fairness, transparency, accountability and properly conducted elections for Guyana’s cricket.
“One expects that any process that has such noble intentions will be supported by all cricket stakeholders,” the CSOG argued adding “the bill should also bring transparency to the financial affairs of the GCB as it instructs that all financial reports of the GCB be made public.”
The CSOG stated that it was the very persons who have incorporated the DCB Inc. and the DEB Inc. who have now presented a writ to Parliament and the list of presenters include these two very companies.
“A careful check of the names of the persons representing the organizations / entities that have filed the writ to block the passage of the Bill reveal it is virtually the same set of persons,” they point out.
“The GCB is made up of three County Boards. The Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) did not take part in the past two elections of the GCB. The DCB could not either because of two (2) order of Court. With two (2) Boards not taking part in the GCB elections, it is not possible to have legal elections and a legal GCB Executive. It is clear therefore that the present GCB is not a legitimate and constitutional body,” they argued.
“The same persons representing the Demerara Cricket Board registered a private company called the DCB Inc. and transferred all the assets including bank accounts of the DCB directly into their names as the sole owners. The registration of this company and transfer of all the assets were done without the two major constituent members of the DCB – the Georgetown Cricket Association (GCA) and the East Coast Cricket Board (ECCB). There is no legal DCB and therefore the incorporation of the DCB Inc. is null and void.
“Many of the persons who claim to be executive members of the DCB and some others through have installed themselves as the executive members of the GCB and have again, without the knowledge and consent of a legal DCB and the BCB, registered a private company called the DEB Essentials Inc. and transferred all the assets of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) to their names as the sole owners.
“A members of the GCB had pointed out publicly four years ago that the GCB has more than four hundred thousand US dollars (US$400,000) in its bank account although the financial statement then did not reflect that.
From that time to current the GCB possibly received more than three hundred thousand US dollars (US$300,000) from the WICB solely for Cricket Development.
“The persons presently in charge of the GCB must inform the cricketing public exactly how the large sums of monies received from the WICB and other sources have been spent, as it is public knowledge that the three major constituent members – the BCB, the ECCB and the GCA received none for the past four years and it is apparent that very little is being spent on cricket development,” charged the CSOG.